Supply chain managers rise through the ranks for a few reasons. Generally they are valued for their management skills, business acumen, and experience. But experience may turn out to be less important as artificial intelligence moves into supply chain management and develops its ability to replace years of experience with deep learning and instant action. Machine learning is replacing personal experience, and doing a surprisingly good job at it.
If you’re involved in any way with technology you’re innundated with stories about how blockchain is changing the world and every bit data is now saved from corruption and theft because… blockchain. Is the hype justified? Should you have been developing blockchain oriented systems for the last year? Will your entire supply chain crumble because you haven’t converted to blockchain?
The benefits of automating orders, invoices, and ASNs between your company and its customers are well known. Integrated documents are faster, less prone to error, and improve workflow among your people and systems. At this point, it would be rare to find a major retailer or manufacturer who isn’t using electronic documents to run their businesses. Not so rare, though, are small and medium sized businesses (SMB) still pushing paper. It’s about time for SMBs to make their move, isn’t it?
Your supply chain has changed over the last couple years. Chances are that you’ve made technology improvements on your end but even if you haven’t changed a thing, some segments of your chain have changed and while each tech improvement likely made a positive change for the company that implemented it, you may not be getting any of the benefits. Here are the technologies that are creeping into the supply chain and what you should look for so you might be able to leverage those improvements for your own benefit.
There was a time when companies moved data between applications by using text files, spreadsheets, or (really?) manual input. Those days still exist for companies only processing a few orders every month. The breaking point comes at somewhere around 250 orders per month, and for suppliers unprepared, what they thought would be a great change can be painful and even lead to larger problems.